Leadership, Office of the Dean

Janet Guthmiller Returns to Adams School of Dentistry as the New Dean

Dr. Swift and Dean Guthmiller
Dr. Swift passing the metaphorical, and physical, "baton" to Dean Guthmiller. Photo by Chris Pope.

Dr. Janet Guthmiller, a skillful leader and previous dean at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry for eight years, began her new role as dean of the highly ranked Adams School of Dentistry on October 17. Dean Guthmiller also holds the Dr. Claude A. Adams Jr. Distinguished Professorship at the dental school. Guthmiller was named dean of the school on May 11 after a national search starting in September of 2021.

In her previous role in Nebraska, Guthmiller led dental programs serving over 300 students across five campuses. A proponent for public service, Guthmiller focused on increasing oral health services to the underserved in Nebraska and encouraged graduates of the field to work in rural areas with underserved populations. Learn more about Dean Guthmiller in the dean announcement previously published on our website.

Her background and accomplishments are just a few reasons why many in the school were highly anticipating Guthmiller’s arrival. Members of the staff and faculty are looking forward to her deanship and the positive transformations they anticipate will come with her presence at Adams.

“Dr. Guthmiller’s arrival is so wonderful — it’s an exciting time for everyone. I think we are all ready for her to create some positive changes and continue our growth at Adams. I’m especially grateful for a dean with a dental hygiene background that will be able to not only focus on improving the dental programs but the dental hygiene programs, as well,” says Lattice Sams, RDH, MS, Director Undergraduate Dental Hygiene Program and Associate Professor.

Rebecca Wilder speaking to faculty

Welcome lunch with faculty on October 17. Photo by Chris Pope.

Leading up to her arrival, Dr. Edward Swift was the interim dean for the Adams School since January of this year. After nearly a year of service in the role, Swift passed the metaphorical, and physical, “baton” to Guthmiller at the school’s Home Sweet Home event on October 27, an event celebrating her arrival and acknowledging Swift’s efforts the last ten months.

“Dr. Swift, in his role as interim dean, has been an incredible leader and has remained transparent in every way possible to the many constituencies of the UNC Adams School of Dentistry,” says Anjie Cotton, Office of Advancement. “There is no questioning his passion for education and his belief in the future generation of oral health professionals. That said, I’m really excited to have permanent leadership in the school again. There are certain projects that require an eye for five to ten years down the road that I am certain Dr. Guthmiller’s arrival will bring.”

As dean of the Adams School of Dentistry, Guthmiller will continue to promote its ongoing commitment to service, education and research excellence. The school has provided quality care to patients across North Carolina for 70 years and about half of dental professionals in the state are Carolina graduates. Adams is recognized as the No. 2 dental school in the world by Shanghai rankings and has raised more than $96 million in the Campaign for Carolina to propel its future.

Dr. Guthmiller speaking to faculty

Dean Guthmiller speaking to faculty at the welcome lunch on October 17. Photo by Chris Pope.

“I believe I speak for all of us — students, staff, and faculty alike — when I say that we are excited to have Dr. Guthmiller join us as our next permanent dean. She is the right person at the right time to lead this school forward,” Ed Swift, DMD, MS.